Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nonexistant Theatre)

IMG_0639Toronto’s Nonexistant Theatre attempts a darker take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If you’re in the mood to see Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a cozy garden, you wouldn’t be amiss seeing Nonexistant Theatre’s debut production. My guest and I both enjoyed ourselves at this show and were glad we got to see it. But overall, I couldn’t help but feel that it fell short of its stated goal to deliver a darker, more serious portrayal of Midsummer.

This is a very ambitious production that bills itself as a dark comedic take on the classic piece that seeks to explore the “images of rape, drugs, and psychosis” prevalent in the play. Walking into the Majilis Art Garden, an alleyway full of vines and overgrown gardens, it definitely felt like I was walking into a twisted magical forest.

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WILF and Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests: A Canadian Comedy Double Bill (Theatre Genesis Toronto)

WILF

Theatre Genesis Toronto‘s inaugural production is A Canadian Comedy Double BillWILF by James Wade and Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests by Jessy Ardern. Both are fast-paced and smartly written, with superb acting and direction, and effective humour both verbal and physical. However, I did like one more than the other. Continue reading WILF and Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests: A Canadian Comedy Double Bill (Theatre Genesis Toronto)

Review: Callaghan! and the Wings of the Butterfly, and SwordPlay: A Play of Swords (Sex T-Rex World Tour II Double Bill)

Image from Sex T-Rex World Tour 2.Sex T-Rex launches their World Tour II, a double bill featuring two comedic plays in Toronto

Comedy troupe Sex T-Rex takes their acclaimed scripted comedies Callaghan! And the Wings of the Butterfly and SwordPlay: A Play of Swords on a “World Tour II” to Eastern Canada this weekend. Based on the preview I saw, I can say without a doubt that comedy lovers in Ottawa, Montreal, and Fredericton are in for a real treat!

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Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of August 22nd

Mina JamesFive Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

It’s a slow week for theatre, as the end of the summer is usually reserved for outdoor shows and revues–which is what we have on offer here this week! Five great shows for under 25 dollars, all picked to illustrate this end-of-the-summer trend. Some of these are one-day-only, to make sure to check them out under the cut!

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Review: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in the Ruff)

Romeo_and_Juliet 2Shakespeare in the Ruff presents Romeo and Juliet in Toronto’s Withrow Park

I love outdoor theatre. And Toronto is fortunate to have several companies offering quality productions every summer. Shakespeare in the Ruff is currently presenting Romeo and Juliet in Withrow Park. Although it may not be as established as the productions in High Park, it is worth planning a trip to the east side to see it.

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Playlistings in Toronto for the Week of August 22nd

A Doll's House, SoulpepperShows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of August 22nd.

As the end of summer draws ever closer, the theatre scene remains quiet. Still, savour those outdoor shows while you can, and check out some of the theatre-themed revues playing this week! Megan is here to select her most anticipated picks in red text! Check them out under the cut.

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Review: Ruby Red Burlesque (Concrete Vertigo Productions)

PAIGE COUCHToronto’s Ruby Red Burlesque attempts an ambitious burlesque musical

We may have looked a little odd, even by Toronto standards: a group of burlesque-goers, decked out in slinky body-con finery and club wear, gathering outside a converted church at 7:30pm on a Saturday night, queuing cheerfully to watch Ruby Red Burlesque, a burlesque musical based (rather roughly) on the storyline of The Wizard of Oz. It was cheerful, enthusiastic, and rather grand in scope. Unfortunately, it had a hard time gelling as a piece because there was so much going on.

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Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper)

Photo of Lisa Berry, Dion Johnstone, Walter Borden, Akosua Amo-Adem, Marcel Stewart, Daren A. Herbert, Peter Fernandes, Roy Lewis in Father Comes Home From the Wars by Cylla von TiedemannThis American Civil War drama is modeled after classic Greek Tragedy, on stage in Toronto

There is so much to be said about Father Comes Home From the War Parts I, II, and III that I feel this review may not be enough to do this production justice. Set against the American Civil War, the first three parts to this nine part epic deals with the pursuit of freedom and the complex and ever so relevant hot button topic of racism. Constructed as an American Odyssey with all the elements, including the lyrical style, of a Greek Tragedy, this moving, eye-opening and heartbreaking tale is something you won’t soon forget.

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West Side Story (Lower Ossington Theatre)

west_side_story_by_Shaun_McPhersonThe LOT brings the classic musical love story to the Toronto stage

I had the pleasure of seeing the Lower Ossington Theatre‘s mounting of the classic musical West Side Story tonight. The LOT‘s version was an ambitious, lively take on a story I’d only ever seen on film and in print.

If you’re someone who managed to escape high school without having read the book, its premise is a “modern” (relative to its time) Romeo-and-Juliet tale of doomed love between two people from different — and racially divided — worlds.

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Preview: Life Record (Pressgang Theatre)

LIFE RECORDS SHOW POSTERPressgang Theatre is remounting Life Records, a one-woman-show by Rhiannon Archer from the 2015 Fringe Festival. Archer uses songs that are entwined with personal memories to explore her life experiences. The show is both comedic and confessional, with a mix of lighthearted and horrifying stories.

We asked writer and performer Rhiannon Archer a few questions about the show. Continue reading Preview: Life Record (Pressgang Theatre)